History of The Amateur radio LOCATOR System
copy from http://www.iaru-r1.org/VHF_Handbook_V5_03.pdf page 108
The scoring in official IARU Region 1 contests as well as in most sub-regional contests is based upon the distance in kilometres between two stations making a complete QSO. To facilitate the measurement of this distance, at a meeting of the VHF Working Group in The Hague in October 1959 a code system was adopted for giving the location of a station. This was the QRA-Locator system, devised in Germany, originally based on a two-stage sub-division of geographical longitudes and latitudes starting from the Greenwich meridian and from 40 degrees North. At the Region 1 Conference in Malmo (1963) the system was refined by introducing a third sub-division, and in its final form the QRA-Locator consisted of a five-character code, viz. two capital letters, a two-digit number and a lower-case letter, for example CM72j.
OK1VPZ Note: the QRA Locator system (originally named QRA-kenner) was developed by DL3NQ and introduced on the DL VHF meeting in Weinheim (1958). OK1VR, OK-VHF Manager recommended to use this system for test in OK September VHF Contest 1958 with success. Next major VHF Contests in OK - July Field Day and September VHF Contest 1959 brings full success of use of that QRA-locator system during VHF Contests. He reported practical experience in 1959 Weinheim meeting - however due to "iron curtain" not personally. Positive practical experience in OK were behind submition as official recommendation of such system in The Hague VHF meeting in October 1959 , where this system was adopted as the IARU recommendation for EU Region. So, since July 1959, this system (later replaced by WW locator system) has used as a official recommendation in the rules for VHF Contesting in OK. Thanks to OK1VR (he is still active on VHF!), Czechoslovakia was the first country worldwide, using locator system for all VHF Contests. See documents  and .
Many Region 1 societies developed maps based on this
system, either of their own country or of larger parts of Western
As there would not be much sense in changing to a
world-wide applicable Locator system in Region 1 if the other Regions
would not adopt it, at the Region 1 Conference in Miskolc-Tapolca (1978)
it was agreed that Region 1 would consult the other two Regions on this
matter. This consultation resulted in an exchange of system proposals
between the Regions, and at a certain moment more than 20 different
systems and variations on systems, generated in the various Regions, were